KEY TERMS FOR THIS INTERVIEW LECTURE
Follow along and take notes on the who, what, when, where, and historical significance for each major key term.
- The “Migrant City”
- The “Black Promised Land”
- W.E.B. DuBois
- The “color line”
- de facto segregation
- The Watts Rebellion (1965)
- The Black Panther Party
- Crack (or “rock”) cocaine
- 1984 Olympic Games
- Daryl Gates
- Tom Bradley
- Gang “affiliates” and “associates”
- The battering ram armored vehicle
- Toddy Tee
- Mixmaster Spade
- “street tapes”
- “The Batterram” (first version)
- “The Batterram” (second version)
- KDAY radio
- “gangster rap”
Primary Source: Opening Scene of Straight Outta Compton
Primary Source: “Rappin’ Duke” by Shawn Brown (1984)
Primary Source: Toddy Tee – The Batterram (1985, O.G., street tape)
Toddy Tee, The Batterram (Evejim Records, 1985; produced by Leon Haywood)
Primary Source: Leon Haywood, “I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You”
Primary Source Discussion Questions for “The Batterram”
- Compare and contrast the first and second versions of Toddy Tee’s “Batterram.” How are these two versions the same song, and how are they distinct?
- Why do you think Toddy Tee’s original homemade taped version of The Batterram was such a bit hit on the streets of LA in 1985?
- How do Toddy Tee’s “Batterram” lyrics about, for instance, the police, drug trafficking, and hardship compare to the lyrics of contemporary LA rappers? (Some artists to consider: Roddy Ricch, YG, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q
Additional Photography Primary Sources
- Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Summer Olympics 1984
- January 1, 1984 caption: “LAPD has acquired two armored personnel transport vehicles to use in case of possible terrorist attacks during the Olympic Games.”
- Chief Daryl Gates talks about LAPD’s new tanklike personnel carrier with steel battering ram, to be used against “rock houses.” The vehicle is seen in the background.
- Chief Daryl Gates stands in front of LAPD’s new tanklike personnel carrier with steel battering ram used against “rock houses.” Photo dated: February 21, 1985.
- Forced entry–The scene after police used a battering ram to gain entrance to a suspected “rock house”–a fortified dwelling from which drugs are dispensed–on Louvre Street in Pacoima. As the armored car mounted with a 14-foot steel battering ram backed away from the door, much of the adjoining wall was also destroyed. No narcotics or weapons were found, but two men and two women were arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs for sale.
- Photograph of DEA Ted Hunter and Police Chief Daryl Gates display 1700 pounds of cocaine and $750,000 in cash at a Central Division press conference. Gates said it was a record seizure on the west coast. Photo dated: April 6, 1986
- Mayor Tom Bradley and LAPD Deputy Chief Glenn Levant hold a press conference following the mayor’s ride-along on a police undercover narcotics raid. The raid netted several firearms, small amounts of rock cocaine and a confiscated automobile.
- At right, a man who Los Angeles police said was selling rock cocaine to the driver of a passing van last month the rock house from which the man allegedly did business was busted on a Friday, and was reported operating again on the following Monday (1986)
- Crack Epidemic, Downtown LA, 1988
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